Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center

The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center is located at Kona International Airport.  The space center is an educational facility dedicated to the memory of Hawaii’s first astronaut who perished during the Challenger Mission in 1986. The Center’s interactive exhibits and videos tell the history of manned space flight, physics and daily life in space.

The center was designed and constructed by the Hawaii Department of Transportation in coordination with the Onizuka family and the Onizuka Memorial Committee. Design work was started with a $75,000 appropriation from the 1988 Legislature.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 3, 1989.  The exterior structure was completed in December 1990. The Legislature appropriated $100,000 for equipment in 1990 and another $275,000 in 1991 for the construction of the interior of the center.  The Onizuka Memorial Committee commissioned the T. Sakow Design Group, a museum consulting firm in New Jersey, to design the interior display of the space center.

The Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center was dedicated on July 19, 1991. The center is a 50-foot high, 4,000 square foot, triangular-shaped building.  The space center features a space travel simulator, memorabilia, Onizuka’s personal belongings, and videotapes and models of space shuttle missions.

Collections include space related exhibitions featuring personal items of Ellison S. Onizuka; interactive displays explaining space concepts; a lunar sample, Apollo 13 space suit and other space related exhibits and displays.

Programs and tours include permanent and rotating/temporary exhibitions, visitor center, school excursions, self-guided tours, teacher workshops, teacher training programs, films, demonstrations, interactive multimedia for public use.

For more information contact the space center: